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Tube & Pipe

A complex cut

By Colin Linneweber

Above: Having a true and constant root opening, manufacturers can introduce automated welding practices.

Creating 3D profiles and holes becomes a snap with control managed by algorithm

December 2017 - A 3D profile pipe cutting machine unveiled by the HGG Group in the late 1980s has remained an effective device for structural steel construction, shipbuilding, aerial crane manufacturing, offshore and multiple other process piping industries well into the 21st century.

Wieringerwerf, The Netherlands-based HGG Group, global suppliers of CNC pipe-cutting machines, cutting services and robotic profile cutting lines for coping beams and hollow structural sections, was founded in 1985 by an engineer named Pieter Glijnis. Over the past three decades, fabricators using HGG’s machines have been used to build famous venues like Wembley Stadium in London, the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing and a colossal Ferris wheel called The London Eye on the South Bank of the River Thames.

FFJ 1217 tube image1

FitPerfect Technology’s utility is exemplified when cutting a hole with a bevel on pipe or shell to create a true root opening.

The latest permutation within HGG’s product line is FitPerfect Technology. It is designed to execute complicated profiling in steel pipes, beams, box sections and other 3D profiles, regardless of size and specifications, according to John Tutino, a sales manager at HGG Americas. Coupled with its software, the FitPerfect model eliminates grinding and reduces both fitting and welding time by producing accurate bevels. With clean, precise cuts from the outset, fabricators that process tube and pipe can bolster output and increase efficiency in their production facilities.

This cutting program also lets welders replicate, or quickly alter, a specific layout without causing prolonged downtime. Even if separate cuts are needed, FitPerfect Technology allows operators to cut multiple pieces that will seamlessly fit together without any modifications.

“HGG offers a variety of 3D profiling cutting machines, from round pipe cutting machines, square tubing, H-Beam, C-channels and bar angles,” says Tutino.

Computer calculations

Using an oxy-fuel or a plasma torch, the machine is able to cut holes, and finish the pipe ends with beveled, weld-prepped edges. “Depending on the profile being cut, along with the program, the algorithm is computed to control the robotic arm to calculate the cutting path providing FitPerfect Technology. Take practically any 3D shape (profile) and our machinery can cut it,” he says.

FitPerfect Technology’s utility is exemplified when cutting a hole with a bevel on pipe or shell to create a true root opening. A true root opening with a precise round hole and constant bevel is critical for welders, says Tutino.

“Having a true root opening without grinding allows a pipe or nozzle to be welded using a constant welding volume and reduces welding time, while not having to overcompensate for an out-of-round hole or inconsistent bevel. That leads to a better weld with a less likely chance of a welding crack and rejection.”

In addition, by having a true and constant root opening, he says, “manufacturers can introduce automated welding practices.”

FFJ 1217 tube image2

HGG’s machines have been used to build famous venues like Wembley Stadium, The London Eye, both in the UK, and the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing.

Size range

FitPerfect Technology is available in sizes ranging from 2 to 120 in. in diameter and 40 ft. in length. Adopting the right size can reduce welding volume, and preparations, and thwart costly human errors.

Tutino recounts some of the struggles fabricators typically endured without such technological advancements. “Prior to this technology, many fabricators used templates or did a layout on the wanted profile that needed to be cut.

This exercise was time consuming and often led to errors. To further compound these problems, veteran shop workers who are now nearing retirement performed such cuts.” Today, fab shops are wondering how they will “replace this experience? The skill sets borne of years of practice simply are no longer available, which leads operations to seek out automated, plug-and-play solutions.

“Now, both of these problems disappear for fabricators because, with a properly drawn part and the use of FitPerfect technology, the efficiency goes up and the labor rate goes down,” Tutino says.  

Although FitPerfect Technology has benefited countless construction projects since Ronald Reagan resided in the White House, HGG is constantly seeking to refine and enhance its product.

“Not only do we build 3D profile cutting machines, we also have our own cutting service,” according to Tutino. “When HGG develops new software, it gets fully tested by our own guys, who are very experienced operators and they can give us direct feedback. Their input is very critical, unbiased and on point. Throughout the years of development and testing, this has led us to the FitPerfect Technology we have today.”  

FitPerfect Technology has mitigated cutting issues and expedited the completion of countless welding jobs.

FFJ 1217 tube image3

FitPerfect Technology will execute complicated profiling in steel pipes, beams, box sections and other 3D profiles, regardless of size.

Wheels turning

“If you are ever lucky enough to ride the London Eye, this structure is mostly comprised of welded tubes,” says Tutino. “But before these tubes were welded, they were cut individually with all different bevel angles and slopes using the FitPerfect Technology at our cutting service center in Holland.”

Once cut, he says, the sections were shipped to a fabricator in the United Kingdom.

“Putting this structure together was like a giant puzzle,” he says. “For example, pipe A had to be welded to pipe B and these two pipes must be correctly cut in order to correctly fit together. There was no room for error, or for the integrity of the structure, and the overall safety of the public.”

Considering HGG Group’s unwavering dedication to improving its device, FitPerfect Technology will continue to help pipe fitters, fab shops and downstream users make the quickest, most accurate work of the most complex connections. FFJ

Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Beckwood Press Co. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters Triform

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc.

LASER TECHNOLOGY

Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

AMADA AMERICA, INC.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. Mazak Optonics Corp. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC MC Machinery Systems Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SigmaTEK Systems LLC

BEVELING

Murata Machinery, USA, Inc. Davi Inc. Striker Systems
Steelmax Tools LLC TRUMPF Inc.

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

COIL PROCESSING

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Bradbury Group MTS Sensors Rolleri USA

STEEL

Burghardt + Schmidt Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

PRESS BRAKES

Alliance Steel
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC.

TUBE & PIPE

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial Automec Inc. BLM Group
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

MC Machinery Systems Inc. Prudential Stainless & Alloys

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies SafanDarley

WATERJET

Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

PUNCHING

Barton International

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc. Hougen Manufacturing Flow International Corporation
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit

SAWING

Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc. Behringer Saws Inc.

WELDING

Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. DoALL Sawing American Weldquip
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

HE&M Saw Strong Hand Tools
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. Savage Saws T. J. Snow Company

 

MetalForming Inc.

 

 

 

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

 

 

 

Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

 


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